Maghaberry letter

Letter from Sean Doyle of the East Coast H Block Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee which is organised by the Socialist Republican Unity Committee on current situation in Maghaberry prison.

Lillian, so sorry and appalled to read your account on Monday May 30th after the visit with your brother Harry Fitzsimons on Sunday 29th May of the unprovoked brutal attack. He was beaten and tortured by the ever present sadistic enforcers of the British in partnership devolved governance. Possibly devoid governance would be more appropriate. Devoid of human rights, of truth, of freedom of speech and honour of commitments signed in writing with POW’s. This is a human rights issue and not negotiable. It is not a fleeting discretion to be bestowed at the behest of and on those they consider fitting. As we are commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1981 H block hunger strike.

I recall the first hunger strike in 1980 led by Brendan Hughes when assurances were given then and it was called off only to be reneged on by the British and the rest is history. When we are commemorating the hunger strikers as their anniversaries occur we will be holding public meetings and I can assure you we will also inform the people of the plight of your brother Harry and the POW’s. We will endeavour to build a unified Socialist Republican campaign around this fundamental human rights catastrophe. They say silence is golden I say it is condoning. No proper civilisation can be built on a foundation of brutality and denial of basic human rights without these principles at the core to deny them and turn the other way is to debase humanity itself.

I am astonished and bitterly disappointed that so many in POWER SHARING have suffered the beatings, strip searches and degradation and our hunger strike martyrs to resolve this. That you are prepared to have this inflicted on fellow human beings because you disagree with them. I repeat it is not yours to give, it is a basic human right an automatic entitlement to all friends or considered foe. Remember power has responsibility and it can also corrupt. You have no right to tailor make a persons human rights pending on their considered level of activity be it extreme by your present perspective. Their sentence no doubt and incarceration will reflect that. Human rights and honouring agreements signed in writing are a reflection on you as a society. Denial of and brutality and inhuman degradation should not be used to exert vengeance. Denial of human rights is a crime that must be exposed. It is a rot in the root of society that will spread through denial, lies, collaboration and silence. Speak out now: you know human rights is a given for all.

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